What To Know Before Buying an Elliptical For Your Home

So here are 5 features you need to examine when buying your elliptical machine:

#1 Stride Length

Stride is the basically the furthest distance between the elliptical pedals. Most stride lengths vary from 14 inches up to 22 inches.

The right stride length will help to more fully work your lower body muscles and give you a more natural feeling ride. A stride that is too short will feel unnatural – almost jumpy – when you pick up the pace.

What’s the proper stride length? That depends on you really. However most people of average height find a stride of 18 to 20 inches to be the most comfortable for them.

Taller people over 6 feet will definitely want to go for a 20 to 22 inch stride.

Some elliptical trainers even offer you adjustable strides. These trainers are great for multiple user households as everyone can choose the perfect stride for them.

Watch out for cheaper elliptical trainers that only give you from 14 – 17 inch strides as most people find these to be too short – and uncomfortable in the long run.

#2 Flywheel

While some manufacturers do not list the weight of the flywheel, many manufacturers are starting to do this on their websites and sales flyers these days.

In general the heavier the flywheel, the smoother feeling the elliptical ride. You’ll find transitioning between resistance levels much easier with a heavier flywheel.

Flywheels vary from 8 pounds up to 48 pounds so you have a wide variety here.

Usually the higher end ellipticals carry the heavier flywheels.A heavier flywheel also helps to anchor the machine for added stability.

#3 Design

There are 2 basic elliptical machine designs these days. The front drive elliptical has the flywheel placed in front of the pedals under the console and moving arm bars.

The rear-drive elliptical places the flywheel behind the foot pedals.

Which design is best?

This is largely a personal preference thing. Some people find that a front drive design gives them more of a climbing elliptical path (which can be great for burning calories).

Whereas the rear drive design gives more of a flatter elliptical path (which is more like a natural running motion). So in the end it comes down to which you prefer.

#4 Console

Consoles are all over the board these days. However there are several features that are always a hit with buyers.

First of all, try to look for a backlit console – as it’s easier to see your workout stats.

Also look for larger console windows which, again, make it easier to read your stats.

Cheaper ellipticals will toggle back and forth between your stats and many people don’t like this – they want to see a constant reading of their calories, time, etc.

Another thing that some manufacturers are adding to consoles are built-in fans to help keep you cool. This is a small thing, but you may find it very convenient during long, hot workouts.